The Current State and Future of Source.Coop

This post by Jed Sundwall is a comprehensive look at the current state and future of Source.Coop, a repository for open data by Radiant Earth.

MapStack has similar goals, and back in May I wrote:

Mapstack doesn’t tie in with existing tools. Currently, there is no tooling to create or manage data, collaborate or visualise the data. It’s a place where the result of data processing might be hosted. Open data providers have invested in the infrastructure to host data—it’ll be hard to convince them to migrate to Mapstack instead.

I have similar thoughts about Source. These data repositories can be useful for providers of small-scale datasets who don’t want to run their own infrastructure, but I question whether we’ll see large, global datasets on these repositories. But Source already hosts several substantial datasets from big names such as NASA, ESA, or CGIAR, presumably because of well-established networks by the people involved in building Source—I have been wrong about these things before.

Currently it’s hard to understand what data is available on Source without paginating through all datasets. The platform lacks advanced search functionality that lets me look for data by geographic region, data format, or time. And to preview the data, I have to download it first and use third-party tooling. A map or table preview on the website would be far more convenient for people to explore data. (Both of these features are on the Source’s roadmap.)